A 1968 Star Trek episode, “The Day of the Dove,” is an apt metaphor for one of the perils confronting our nation 22 days into the new administration. The episode aired in November, 1968.
An alien entity traps Klingons and the Federation crew aboard the Enterprise, and incites them to anger and violence. It isolates individuals in different parts of the ship. It implants false memories of past harms to feed the anger. It materializes weapons as tempers build.
After recognizing the danger, Kirk and Spock convince the Klingon commander and their respective crews to lay down their weapons. They laugh, joke, and generally act like they’re having fun. The entity fades and disappears.
As David Brooks observed Friday night on The PBS Newshour, the new administration had ample opportunity to move toward “bringing the nation together,” the stated goal of every other victorious president I can remember. Instead they go out of their way to foment discord
Without explicitly saying he’s mentally ill, in an NPR interview last week, Brooks laid the blame on the president’s psyche: “Donald Trump’s world view is that it’s a dangerous, miserable place, people are out to get him, and he needs to strike them first.”
Brooks expressed the belief that the 45th president is a victim of his own unconscious processes, which are now infecting the whole country. I fear something far more calculated and deliberate. Three weeks in, and the daily outrages continue. The pace is even increasing. I think there is method behind the madness of #45 and his minions.
Those who resist have tweeted about and demonstrated against cabinet picks, travel bans, normalizing lies as “alternate facts,” placing a nihilist neo-nazi on the National Security Council, obsessing over the popular vote and inaugural crowd size. Silencing government agencies, the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre, harping on SNL, #StopPresidentBannon, attacks on judges, silencing Warren in the Senate, lies about murder rates, lies about climate change, lies about coal jobs, lies about jobs coming back from China, prayers for TV ratings. We need a wall but now taxpayers will pick up the $25 billion tab. First there was a travel ban, and now the secret police coming at night to take your neighbors away. Or they follow school busses home to arrest parents who come to pick up their kids, because that of course is where you’ll find the murderers and rapists who pour over our borders – at what, in fact, is the lowest rate in years.
What am I forgetting? Oh yes! If we get distracted by this stomach churning sleight-of-hand, we forget the one thing that really matters: the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection.
This matters because it is the most likely means of removing Trump from office, and the survival of our republic depends on removing him from office, and soon. Reluctantly, too slowly, congress and senate are starting to dig. Call or email your elected officials to let them know how important you think this is.
Through the Muslim ban, which plays into the recruiting message of terrorists, and through blaming the courts and the press, the administration appears to be setting us up for a Reichstag fire (if you don’t know what that is, google it). Sooner or later some lone-wolf fool will do something, and the administration which has been feeding what’s left of its base a constant dose of lies, will have their excuse for martial law, for silencing the press, for concentration camps, and all the rest of the trappings of dictatorship.
It’s important not to get sidetracked, not to burn out or burn emotional energy on what we have lost. We need to keep focused on the Russian dossier, the Russian connection, the hacking and what the administration knew!
Just as during the early days of investigating Watergate, the administration will try to divert, condemn, and threaten. They have the power, the police, media access, and so far, a complicit congress, though hopefully that will change.
Still, we have three things this administration will never have: Truth. A sense of humor. And the good of the nation and planet at heart. #Resist.
I really do hope the American people — in particular the majority who didn’t vote for this monster — find a way to resist this entity that could take us all down. There’s only so much the rest of the world (at least those countries geninely appalled) can legitimately do.
Thanks for reading and for your comments. The day to day reality is frightening. Our legislative branch of government is caving in to Trump in significant ways – as did the German parliament in 1933.
The president, in turn, is attacking the judiciary, as are his minions. The Seattle judge, a mainstream Republican, who put the initial hold on the travel ban is receiving death threats. He continues to mock the press, and it seems a significant number of true believers don’t understand that an “alternate fact” is a lie.
And yet I feel hopeful. Here’s a great article by Gary Kasparov – (gasp – a refugee) – on countering Trump:http://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/11/14577834/garry-kasparov-putin-trump.
And another piece I love, about how the wonderful people of Scotland told him to fuck off – literally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pbTmXsfiYk. As one commentator said, one thing we have that they don’t is humor!
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True my Friend. As an outside observer (I am Canadian) I see that the voter empathy stems from the fact that your democracy has too much freedoms or liberties. Read Plato’s Republic you’ll see that this is par to the transition from a democracy to tyranny. The true problem is not that 25.7% of eligible votes voted for him, its the fact that 44.4% of eligible voters did not even cast a vote.
You see as socrates said when a society have women and men equal, children boss around their parents, teachers are afraid of their students, animals have rights a people and foreigners work with citizens you create an environment where a distrust and fear are rampant. These all come from liberties, perhaps too much. Yet with all this liberty breeds fear and mistrust to the point a tyrant appears who says he will fix the problem.
He is not interested in fixing but feeding off the fear. The travel ban he said is for the safety of the nation and many would argue it is. Yet is feeds into the fear and hatred around the world so that his people see no alternative but to keep him in his post. People are empathetic to the the fear and problems and he has just tapped into them.
Excuse me, but I don’t remember Socrates saying anything like this in the Republic, nor in recent summaries I have seen of his warning of the the dangers of democracy morphing into tyranny: “You see as socrates said when a society have women and men equal, children boss around their parents, teachers are afraid of their students, animals have rights a people and foreigners work with citizens you create an environment where a distrust and fear are rampant.”
It’s also pretty clear that we have not had a “real” democracy in some time, but morphed into the kind of oligarchy that tanked the Mycenaean Empire a few centuries before Socrates’ time. There are so many threads and the threat of the Trump administration rose so suddenly, that it’s a little weird to hear that male/female equality and animal rights are among the causes of our predicament.
Clearly the founding fathers were wary of the masses, but the colonial days when only white males could vote are not coming back.
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